Today's marketplace is inundated with advertising, wild claims, and "deals," whether real or perceived. So, maintaining a loyal and lucrative customer base is becoming more and more difficult. According to a recent survey, only 34% of consumers trust their brands. Yes, we're living in a "Post-Trust Era," and consumers are becoming more naturally suspicious.
If they think you consider them just another number, they likely won't bite. E-commerce and new trends in technology have been influencing how people shop for years. Plus, the pandemic has accelerated several consumer demands and behavior changes, including this lack of trust. Businesses will continue to adapt to keep up with consumer demands to survive constantly.
However, it's constantly changing, and how you shop or find a business today might be different than in a few months. So instead, companies need to shift their perspective and better persuade buyers that their product and brand are worth investing in.
At 7th Level, we have successfully trained over 100,000 salespeople worldwide using a proprietary sales method called Neuro Emotional Persuasion Questioning (NEPQ). We teach how to work with human behavior rather than against it, ultimately eliminating sales pressure. And over the last year, we have managed to hold the line, take market share, and not only retain but increase our client value.
So, what's the secret? These are some of the strategies we employed that would be useful to any company looking to build customer loyalty in the post-trust era.
Create a Clear Customer Journey
Today's consumers are busy, and most purchasing decisions are made quickly and instinctively. And to get them to choose your product, brands need to build a positive impression that will reach them subconsciously—utilizing images and stories that'll positively associate with their brand in consumers' minds. You need to have a clear customer journey that increases not only the velocity of revenue between you and the client but increases the value given to the client by a greater proportion.
Under Promise and Over Deliver
We intentionally do not "sell" our customers on ALL the features and benefits of what we give them. Instead, we allow them to be surprised, and therefore they are getting more value than they expected. This creates an excellent referral network and great loyalty. Although you might be eager to share everything you have to offer in hopes it will convince the customer, you're better off focusing on just a few targeted solutions. This makes the customer feel seen and therefore builds a connection. Once that's established, you can share more offers, which will strengthen that trust and bond, ultimately creating a long-lasting relationship. And a sustained relationship means sustained company growth.
Invest in Infrastructure
Investing in the infrastructure to ensure our customer experience is without friction is key to building customer loyalty in this challenging time. So, we have invested heavily in people and tech infrastructure to ensure that the clients' and employee experiences are easy and without friction points. The goal was to be two to three times ahead. So, let's say we take on 1,000 new customers in a month. We need to comfortably handle 2,000 to 3,000 to ensure that the customer has the best possible experience.
These three basic steps and the overarching goal of being the best in our industry have created a customer base that does the selling for us, a great level of client retention, and a very loyal base of customers. The key with each of these is shifting the focus away from selling and connecting and collaborating with the customer. You're not simply trying to advertise your services to make money.
If you stick to the traditional way of selling, you're bound to keep running into hesitation from potential consumers. The pushiness will cause them to view you negatively even if your services are valuable and solve their needs. In this era, customers have options and know that they do. So, they will have no problem walking away if they feel the trust simply isn't there.
With the three steps, the focus is on actually making the customer experience a more enjoyable one. You're reaching them emotionally and connecting on a human level. Plus, you're showing how your product solves their problems rather than just saying it. This builds trust and loyalty that can withstand business ups and downs, which is key in sustaining success.